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June 6, 2009

Tempe, Arizona


by Gary Yamaguchi

“Archers Helping Archers”  (photos below)

A special archery event was held on June 6, 2009 to welcome Kiley Larrick and Nathan Yamaguchi to the Arizona family of Junior World Team (JWT) members, and to help prepare them for international competition.  A number of singles and team matches were arranged at Papago Park through the Papago FITA Archers club.  Matches included senior members of the club, JOAD shooters, coaches, and former/Senior World Team members Maggie Huff, Ted Harden, and Kari Jill Granville.  (An effort had been made to contact all former junior world team members but these were the ones who could attend.)  JOADs who participated included Sami Lopez, Karissa Yamaguchi, and Jenna Nelson.  No effort was made to separate archers into compound or recurve categories.

Nathan and Kiley each fought through five individual, 12-arrow matches and two 12-arrow team matches before retiring to Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant to eat lunch and hear experiences shared by the former JWT members.  One of the most well-traveled AZ archers, Lindsay Pian, joined the group at the restaurant.  A good lunch was followed by a discussion on how to deal with unfamiliar coaches, international competitors, T-shirt swapping, rules, and the like.  Common threads included:

  • Being respectful of coaches and other archers;

  • Avoiding situations that could invite trouble;

  • Personal discipline, including keeping to a training schedule and getting to bed early;

  • Making sure everyone on the USA Team feels included, and supporting teammates;

  • Rules;

  • Enjoying every minute!

Bob Pian and Janice Price also relayed some insights on the upcoming Youth World Championship venue in Ogden, UT and the way in which parents are separated from their archers.  Ed Votruba, Mike Cullumber, and Angi Lopez presented gift checks on behalf of the Papago FITA Archers Club to Kiley and Nathan to have as “fun” funds during the Junior World tournament.

Postlude:  Kiley and Nathan both won their respective Olympic Round tournaments at the JOAD Nationals on July 5 in Downington, PA.  JOAD participant Karissa Yamaguchi also won her FITA event in Downington on July 4.  Coincidence?  We’d like to think that this event and the continuing support of the Papago FITA Archers helped each archer in some small way…  GTY